In a World of Sameness change your perspective
"His design and building principles define his work, and challenge perceptions of what a modern custom ukulele can be.
Composed, confident, artistic, and unique, Mark's instruments set new standards for this next age of contemporary ukuleles."
Shawn Yacavone / Ukulele Friend
"Mark is Da Man! He will be the next Charles Fox."
Eric Devine / Devine Guitars & Ukuleles
"This was a "love at first pluck" experience for me. I am still struck by a feeling of clarity, brightness and richness of the tone. The instrument is light in the hands and vibrates with life. I could feel it ... it was talking to me through my hands; not just through my ears."
Kenneth Fowler / Houston, TX
"Working out of his Oregon workshop, Mark is really making waves in the uke world for his unique styling and attention to detail."
GUITAR BENCH MAGAZINE
"A Uke and a Smile
Coca-Cola commissions a one-of-a-kind ukulele for Warren Buffett."
Superb tone and playability
Superior craftsmanship, shaping a deep resonance from flawless intonation, allowing each note to bloom. Blurring distinctions of what the modern bespoke instrument can be.
Mark Roberts has maintained a lifelong passion about creativity and understanding the nature, patterns, and systems of the world around us.
An extensive background in all disciplines of fine art, industrial product design, and furniture design have uniquely crafted his approach to design and craft fine instruments.
Mark's experience as an product designer and his beneficial study under Charles Fox, and numerous other gifted luthiers, have uniquely positioned his contemporary sensibilities to design and approach to building.
A misconception about good designers is that we create beauty.
I believe we should strive to create intelligence - and if we succeed,
beauty will appear.
I like to produce art that resonates with all of the senses, and share
it with all who care about it everyday.
My pursuit of lutherie, like industrial design, furniture design, and art
is partially the intimacy of our relationship with objects we use on a
daily basis. Instruments, like furniture, are somewhat compromised,
but the desire to try and produce something that's free from that compromise is endlessly exciting. I love the concept that instrument design and construction uses all my capacity, from my physical ability
for actually making, and the whole relationship of choosing a specific piece of wood, that once stood in a woodland, to actually seeing that instrument being used, and years later seeing how that piece has blossomed in use. If we want trees in the landscape, we should give
them life beyond their own.
With respect of tradition and love for modern aesthetics, Mark continues this evolution asking the right questions, with clear artistic vision, innovative technology and meticulous attention to details using the world’s finest tonewoods maintaining a keen focus on evolving the instruments.
Museum of Contemporary Craft, exhibitor
Oregon Art Beat television, Oregon Public Broadcasting featured artist
Guild of American Luthiers, member/author
Design BOOM Magazine, featured article
American Lutherie Magazine, author
Guitar Maker Magazine, author
Guitar Bench Magazine, featured article
Ukulele Magazine, featured article
Ukulele Rhythms Magazine, featured luthier
The Luthierist Podcast, featured luthier
NW Handmade Musical Instrument Exhibit, exhibitor
Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration, exhibitor
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, History of the Guitar exhibitor
Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, Best of Show
Portland Public Library Exhibit, exhibitor
Portland International Airport Exhibit, organizer/exhibitor
Portland Luthiers Gatherings, organizer
With an ever growing list of clients around the world, Mark is focused on evolving his designs and craftsmanship into museum quality instruments, destine to be heirlooms for generations.
For my sensibilities, I greatly limit decoration on my instruments. Decoration never adds a new tone, it never improves the bloom of a note, or the sustain.
It never makes the instrument play better…and it never makes the player reach to become equal to the capability of the instrument. It’s a distraction.
I would rather leave a finish as close to revealing the natural characteristics of the material as possible, to meditate and revel on the life and condition of an individual woods character, than an artificial mirror like surface of some finishes.
If you think what goes on inside an instrument is just as important as what it looks like on the outside, we should talk.